Montana Synod congregations and individuals are generous when it comes to hunger. Not only do we contribute to local food banks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, we also give generously to ELCA World Hunger. In 2017, congregations of the Montana Synod gave $83,891 to World Hunger through the Regional Financial Services Office. And I know that many congregations and individuals sent their contributions directly to Chicago, without going through our FSO. So, thanks for that generosity.
World hunger funds, of course, support relief and development projects across the globe—in our companion synods, where we have missionaries serving, where there are disasters. But world hunger funds also support projects in the United States. We are, after all, part of the world! While the bulk of the World Hunger funding does go abroad, a portion ($715,000) is dedicated to domestic hunger and poverty issues.
If you are thinking about starting or expanding a hunger or poverty-related project in your congregation, or ecumenically or in your community, consider applying for a hunger grant. You can go to Hunger@ELCA.org. Or you can contact Pastor Jessie Obrecht (email@example.com), the Montana Synod’s Hunger Coordinator.
Grants are in three categories: Relief, Advocacy, Organizing. This year three grants came to the Montana Synod. One is brand new—a Laurel community garden. Another is to a frequent recipient of grants—Our Saviour’s Rocky Boy applied for a grant for care packages for the tribal Office of Victim Services. The third was give to the Montana Association of Christians, for the MAC Connect event that teaches advocacy for the poor.
Past recipients have include the Montana Food Bank Network; Family Promise in various communities; backpack programs that send food home with children over the weekends; community food banks, and more.
If you are looking for a way to help your neighbors as a congregation, think about ELCA Hunger grants for next year.
Jessica Crist, Bishop
Bishop Jessica Crist
Bishop of the Montana Synod of the ELCA